10 Most Common Household Electrical Problems & Ways to Solve Them

The most common household electrical problems are electrical surges, circuit overloads, dysfunctional switches, dips and sags, and backstabbed wiring.

10 Most Common Household Electrical Problems & Ways to Solve Them 1

Household electrical problems are annoying and highly dangerous. Even the smallest problems can cause major damage if not fixed immediately.

These days smart and electrical appliances are taking over our kitchens and other parts of the house. These are helpful and make our lives easier but the more electrical devices you have around the house, the more problems you will have to fix in the future.

To help you prepare against potential problems in the future, we will go over the 10 most common electrical problems and how to fix them.

1. Transients or Electrical Surges

Electrical surges are caused by high-voltage disruptions. If you ever notice the fast flickering of lights for a few seconds in your house then that is an electrical surge. 

These are very common and can damage your electrical devices if they are connected and on during the surge. If you notice frequent electrical surges then contact a professional to take a look. If you are in Minneapolis then contact Electrician Minneapolis and have them change the wires.

Even though electrical surges last only a second or two, they can fry your devices. Have them repaired immediately.

2. Automatic Tripping Circuit Breakers 

Circuit breakers disconnect the circuit when they detect an issue or irregularity in the flow of electricity. Sometimes you will notice that some lights and electrical outlets of the house are working while others are not.

In that case, go to the main panel of your house and look for switches that have been flipped. Switch them back on and things should be back to normal.

3. Dips and Sags

These are similar to electrical surges which are triggered mostly by electrical appliances. They last only about a second and are also referred to as brown-outs.

Unlike electrical surges, brown-outs do not cause the light to go completely off. Instead, the lights get dimmed and then get bright again. This usually happens when multiple electrical appliances are drawing out power from an old electric panel.

4. Bulb Burnouts

This is a common occurrence due to electrical problems in the house. Yes, sometimes the bulbs are to blame but most of the time light bulbs burn out fast because of irregular electrical discharges, high voltage, bad circuit wiring, outdated main panels, or poor connections.

The first thing you should do is check if the bulb holder is loose or damaged. If the holder and bulb are in good condition, then it is best to call your local Minneapolis electrician to have a look and save you from buying bulbs every week.

5. Circuit Overload

Frequent circuit tripping is sometimes caused by circuit overload. This mainly happens when too many devices are drawing out power from the main panel.

Even newer houses have electrical limits and keeping everything on at the same time may cause an overload and trip your circuits. To make sure it does not happen, all you have to do is be more cautious.

Disconnect devices that are not being used. For instance, after charging your phone, take your charger out because it still draws out power even if not connected to the phone. Do not overburden one circuit or one electrical outlet and distribute your appliances to different outlets.

6. Electric Shocks

One of the most terrifying accidents that can occur in your house is an electric shock. This occurs mostly because of old, faulty electrical systems and ungrounded wires. However, it can also result from a faulty appliance.

To test whether your outlet is faulty, test another small device. If you get shocked while using another device then your outlet needs to be changed. If it does not, then you need to get your appliance checked.

7. Malfunctioning Switches

If your switches are not functioning properly,  they might be overridden or there may be faulty circuits or improper wiring. And sometimes your switches might just be too old to function.

The only way to solve this would be to call an electrician and have them replace it with new switches. Remember, switches should not malfunction frequently; if you notice dysfunctional switches every month, then you need to fix the wiring as well.

8. Backstabbed Wiring

When wires are damaged, they are called backstabbed wires or outlets. Damaged wires are highly likely to cause electrocution when touched.

If you find damaged wires, first turn off the main power supply and then tightly tape the damaged part. However, this is only a temporary fix; the tape may get peeled off over time, so make sure to completely replace the wires.

9. High Electrical Bills

You can expect higher bills during the summer and winter from heating or cooling your home. However, sometimes you might see unexpectedly high electrical bills even during spring and fall which are basically off-season.

If that is the case, you can try a couple of things like taking a closer look at your electrical appliances to identify which ones are causing electrical surges.

You can repair damaged circuits or look for leaks in the hot water system. You can also use a smart thermostat to selectively control the temperature of your house. 

Before every winter, call in an electrician to conduct a full inspection. Electrical systems and appliances are more prone to malfunction during the winter and an electrical inspection can save you unexpectedly high electrical bills.

10. Overlamping

If you attach bulbs with higher wattage on holders or fixtures with a lesser wattage, it can cause overlamping. The socket will heat up, get damaged, and burn out.

Before attaching your bulbs, always check the bulb wattage or change the socket to match the wattage.

Final Thoughts

Common electrical problems can turn into expensive repairs if you do not fix them in time. You can contact a professional Minneapolis electrician to conduct a full inspection and find out all the existing problems. Once you find them, have them fixed right away.